Promoting Positive Mental Health in a Primary Academy

Why is promoting positive mental health at school important?

An imperative part of ensuring that our children are truly happy and in a position to be able to achieve their absolute potential, is giving them regular opportunities to share, explore, question and regulate their own feelings and mental health.

As an academy we have built this into the school day as we very much want children to consider discussing their feelings, worries and thoughts an integral part of school, learning about themselves, the world around them and how the latter might affect them.

We provide a high level of targeted pastoral care to a number of children and families both through our pastoral systems and structures and on an ad-hoc basis. The academy is seen as a strong support for our children as individuals and to their families.

What practical steps can be taken to support positive mental health and wellbeing in school?

By showing a strong commitment to positive child mental health and continuing to ensure that this belief and practice is embedded throughout our setting we hope to make a hugely positive impact on the mental health and resilience of all children in our care.

Several key members at Inspire Academy have received Team Mental Health’s Advanced training and the school are committed to providing all teachers and teaching assistants with Intermediate training. Foundation training will also be provided to all administration and support staff.

By pre-empting crises and equipping our community with the skills and opportunities to deal with challenges we ensure minimal impact on our children. Above all though, simple things like feelings charts in every classroom so that worries / anxieties can be addressed at the earliest opportunity, ‘brain breaks’ during learning, opportunities for meditation, quiet thought and just knowing that they can talk to any member of staff because ‘that’s just what we do here’ is proving vital in our key aim of putting children’s mental health on everyone’s agenda (including their own) and making it more than OK to talk about it when you need to.

“A healthy outside starts from the inside” Robert Urich.

Mrs Louise Byrne, Deputy Principal Inspire Academy